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Drivers beware! Using your mobile whilst driving...

Drivers and cyclists in Queensland now need to be extra careful not to use their mobile phones while driving after increased penalties were recently introduced for the offence in Queensland.

The laws come into effect on 1 February 2020.

Currently (as at the date of this article) the penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving include a $400.00 fine and 3 demerit points. After the legislation comes into force, this will increase to $1,000 and 4 demerit points.

If caught twice within 12 months, double demerit points will apply with the exception of cyclists who will only be fined $1,000.00.

What actions are captured by the new legislation?

Drivers can expect to receive the full penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving of they are caught doing any of the following: -

  1. Holding the phone next to or near your ear with your hand; or

  2. Texting or typing on your phone;turning your phone on or off; or accessing any other application or function of your phone; or

  3. Effectively, if the mobile phone is in your hand or being touched by you while you are driving or stopped at a set of lights, you will be fined.

It’s important to note these rules only apply to mobile phones, so using CB or 2-way radios is not an offence according to the legislation.

Does that mean I can’t use my phone in my car at all?

If you are on a learner or P1 licence under the age of 25 years, you are not permitted to use hands-free devices, headsets or loudspeaker functions on your mobile phone at all. This includes your car’s Bluetooth function.

Very importantly, if you fall within that category of driver your passengers are also not allowed to have their mobile phones on loudspeaker in your car either.

If you are not a learner or P1 driver, provided you do not touch your mobile handset, you are still able to answer calls whilst driving by using the answer call button on your steering wheel and playing music through your car stereo via Bluetooth.

Alternatively, if you park on the side of the road you are able to use your mobile phone.

Our View

If you or anyone you know needs assistance with a traffic offence involving mobile phone use whilst driving, contact us to arrange an appointment to meet with one of our traffic lawyers to assist you with your matter on (07) 3209 7000.

Disclaimer: This publication is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. We are unable to ensure the information is current and there is no guarantee in relation to accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content of this publication. The views and/or opinions expressed in this publication is that of the author and may not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of RHC Solicitors.

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